On Wednesday 18 January, SWiFT welcomed High-Speed 2 (HS2) Chief Commercial Officer Ruth Todd CBE to their latest guest-speaker event.
Ruth shared with the audience her experiences and advice from a career which span 30 years and included roles as Commercial Director for UK Ministry of Defence; Programme Director for the Vaccine Task Force and her current one at HS2. Taking questions from the audience, Ruth shared personal examples around maintaining a healthy work life balance, combating workplace imposter syndrome, valuing leadership aspirations and making sure that every day counts at work.
Ruth said, “I really enjoyed engaging with the audience. SWiFT has attracted some genuinely interesting people and the two-way nature of the dialogue was warming and reinforcing for me too.”
The evening was hosted by Rajinder Pryor MBE, Senior Account Manager, Route Services Network Rail and Women in Rail (WR) Trustee, who said:
“SWiFT has created a unique network for likeminded executive members to come together in an inclusive environment. Ruth was the ideal guest who spoke candidly, offering personal insights from her own life experiences which were both motivational and thought provoking for everyone present.”
Shamit Weinberger Gaiger, Managing Director for West Coast Partnership Development, who is the SWiFT lead and Women in Rail (WR) Trustee, said:
“Ruth is such an inspirational person, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to her career story, and her personal challenges and triumphs. She shared how she navigated the obstacles that a lot of women have to face when aspiring for senior leadership roles in any industry.
“Those that attended were enamoured by what she was saying, and a lot resonated with me and some of things that I’m passionate about – ensuring that you are working with people that share in the same values and that the best conversations are when there is diversity in the room.”
SWifT is an integral part of Women in Rail (WR), which provides space and support for its executive members through a peer-to-peer network and fosters the development of high potential women in the rail industry, helping them progress their career and transition to more senior roles.
Open to male and female professionals, SWiFT’s objective is to ultimately shift the dial of gender balance in executive roles in the UK rail sector and, in line with WR core values, further promote equality, diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on executive grades and roles.
SWiFT has a number of ‘An Evening With…’ events planned for next year. The next one is on 21 March 2023 with guest-speaker Nicola Shaw, who is Yorkshire Water Chief Executive Officer and previously held roles as the Executive Officer at National Grid, Chief Executive of High Speed 1 and Director of FirstGroup.
To register for the event please fill in the event registration form